Introduction to Kautilya's Arthashastra...
The World's First Management Guru
The Oldest Book on Total Management—
Radhakrishnan 'Chanakya' Pillai
Kautilya's Arthashastra is the oldest book on Management
available to the world. It was written by Kautilya
(also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta) in 300 BC.
When literally translated it means 'Scripture of Wealth'.
The main focus of the book is on Creation & Management of wealth.
However the book is a masterpiece which covers
a wide range of topics like Statecraft, politics, military warfare,
strategy, Selection and training of Employees, leadership skills,
legal systems, accounting systems, taxation, fiscal policies,
civil rules, internal and foreign trade etc.
It also covers various technical subjects including medicine,
gemology, metallurgy, measures of length, tables of weights,
divisions of time, among many others.
No wonder scholars down the centuries have time and again
described Kautilya as a rare mastermind who could be an expert
in so many varied and specialized fields.
He was responsible to bring down the Nanda dynasty and establish
his able student Chandragupta Maurya on the throne as the emperor. Hence he is called a 'King Maker'. He is also credited to have
masterminded the defeat of Alexander in India when he was on his march to conquer the world.
As a political thinker, he was the first to visualize the concept
of a 'NATION' for the first time in Human History.
During his time India was split into various kingdoms.
He brought all of them together under one Central Governance
thus creating a Nation called 'Aryavartha', which later became India.
He documented his life long work in this book 'Arthashastra'.
For ages rulers across the world have referred to the Arthashastra
for building a nation on Sound Economics, based on spiritual values.
Emperor Ashoka is supposed to have built and expanded
his kingdom on the principles described in this book.
Shivaji, the ruler of Maharashtra is said to have studied this book
in order to plan and defeat the Mughals.
The Forts that he built and the Navy he created till today stands
as an example for all of us to be proud of.
Even though India and Indians never forgot the 'Arthashastra',
the study and practical application of the book lost its importance
since the British rule.
Prof. Shama Shastry rediscovered the book in 1905,
He wrote its first English Translation. Ever since then, only 2 more
English translations have been written.
One by Prof Kangle and the other by Shri Rangarajan.
However, apart from the scholarly work this book today needs
to be once again represented for practical application in today's world. The book has got many principles and techniques,
which once applied can prove a tremendous improvement even in
our day-to-day management.
Some may ask 'Is this book written over 2000 years ago
still applicable in today's world?.
For which great thinkers have said
'The Arthashastra is a book about the management of the 'human mind', which has remained same since ages'.
‘‘So long as the Human mind remains filled with its negativities
of jealousy, ego, hatred and over indulgence.
So long as human beings require self control, discipline and management., 'Kautilaya's Arthashastra' will remain relevant.’’
Who can benefit from the book?
• Business leaders
• Chartered Accountants
• Human resource personals
• Management Trainers
• Management Consultants
• Intelligence Agencies
• Public / Civil servants
• Government officials
• Military personals
• Students of various fields etc.
Kautilya's Arthashastra is a must for every intelligent person
irrespective of which profession he follows.